FERAMANAGH shoppers are being hit in the pocket with supermarket prices steadily creeping up since the virus lockdown began.
According to both trade experts and Herald readers, prices have been on the rise for sometime. For example, The Grocer magazine’s most recent price index revealed the larger chains have seen hikes of up to 2.6 percent.
This is partly due to the removal of special offers from many stores, said The Grocer. Meanwhile Agriland magazine also warned recently that staff reductions and supply chain disruption as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions would also likely lead to an increase in food prices.
Locally, the Herald asked readers what their experience had been and the answer was overwhelming. Local food bills are getting bigger, and not just because we are shopping more often. However, most of the many readers who got in touch noted this increase was more noticeable in the larger supermarkets than in our smaller, more local shops.
Mary Redmond said she felt it was “profiteering by the large chains.”
“I haven’t noticed any difference in pricing in independent shops,” she added. “I think most of those have gone beyond the call of duty.”
Brian Lindsay said he had “most definitely” noticed prices rising in shops, “especially the big ones”, Jenny Colhoun said she felt “prices have gone up big time,” while Brian Milne said he had noticed the increase ever since the lockdown started.
Majella Lynch noted it wasn’t just in the North that till prices were on the up: “It’s also down south it must be across the whole island. Some of the supermarkets taking are advantage of the situation.
“Gluten free products have gone up in some shops. I have noticed. Shame on them.”
Fay O’Sullivan, meanwhile, most don’t have the luxury of seeking out better value elsewhere any more.
“Many consumers would have shopped around for the best prices pre Covid-19,” she said. “Now we don’t want to visit numerous shops, we just want to get the job done and get out of there as quickly as possible.
“Therefore we just have to buy what we need in one supermarket regardless of price.”
Posted: 9:08 am May 21, 2020